When Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue’s Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren got the news about her latest gig, her reaction didn’t go as glamorously as you’d expect.
“I was on my phone and I was texting… and you know when you’re laying on your bed and you’re looking up at your phone… I got the email, and I got so surprised, and you know what happens next — just straight onto my face,” she tells People Now in the video above. “I didn’t even care, I didn’t feel anything, got up, started dancing.”
Ren stars in the issue alongside Olivia Culpo and Aly Raisman, who posed for empowering photos addressing her critics. Ren says she has her fair share of haters, but she just lets the criticism roll off her back.
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“There’s not really a way to handle them,” she says of commenters on Instagram. “I just kind of look at them, I feel compassion for them because they’re all humans, I can’t really hate on them in that sense.”
The opinions she does listen to, however, come from her family members, who she turns to in order to keep positive vibes around at all times.
“I have this thing called my ‘Post It People,’ they’re my closest family members,’” she explains. “Those are the ones who count. The ones who I put their word as something special to me. So if they’re all like, ‘No you’re good, we love you, we know who you are as a person,’ then I don’t take anything else personally, cause those are the ones who matter — my family.”